NI Homebuyer Enquiries Rise At Fastest Rate In Over Two Years

Homebuyer demand in Northern Ireland rose last month at the fastest rate since the end of 2021 according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey. 

A net balance of 48% of Northern Ireland respondents reported that new buyer enquiries had risen through the month of May. This is up from 19% and 31% the two surveys previously.

Looking at supply, a net balance of 44% NI surveyors noted an uplift in new instructions to sell. This is the highest that this balance has been since the summer of 2020. Although the number of properties coming ono the market is reported to have risen, surveyors still report anecdotally that there is not sufficient stock to meet the demands of new buyers. 

In light of increased demand and supply, newly agreed sales are also said to be on the up. A net balance of 45% of respondents in Northern Ireland reported that sales rose last month. Comparing to the wider UK picture, this is the second highest balance across all the regions aside from Wales. 

NI surveyors also noted that prices continued to rise in the most recent survey. A net balance of 65% of survey respondents report that prices increased over the last three months. Looking forward, surveyors anticipate that house prices will rise in Northern Ireland on the short-term outlook as 67% of respondents expect an increase in pricing. 

Samuel Dickey, RICS Northern Ireland Residential Property Spokesman, comments: “We saw through May that demand for housing remains strong, and whilst supply was also on the up, interest for residential property is still outstripping available properties. It’s encouraging to see surveyors reporting an increased number of new builds coming to the market anecdotally, despite reported challenges with planning delays and the ongoing waste water infrastructure deficit. Overall, Northern Ireland respondents are still more confident about prices over the next 12 months than their counterparts elsewhere in England, Scotland and Wales, anticipating further upward movement.”

Terry Robb, Head of Personal Banking at Ulster Bank says: “The latest survey points to a good May for the housing market locally, with a pick-up in agreed sales. The Northern Ireland housing market also continues to fare better than a number of other UK regions, with new buyer enquiries still healthy. This aligns with our own experience of mortgage demand, with good interest evident from a range of borrowers. Whilst the major challenge that many potential borrowers continue to experience is a shortage of quality homes to choose from, the last report does point to a pick-up in the number of properties coming onto the market, which is welcome.”

Scroll to Top